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MH17 down near Donetsk

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MH17 down near Donetsk

Old 18th Jul 2014, 10:50
  #281 (permalink)  
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This is a tragic and uncomprehensible event. So many lives destroyed or torn apart for no reason whatsoever.

Russia closed, among many others bordering Ukraine, a segment of the A87 airway (this particular segment was on flight 17's route, just minutes away before the shootdown) by NOTAM as of 0000Z on July 17th, i.e. more than 12 hours before the crash.

I find it intriguing that,
i) neither the MAS flight planners nor the crew spotted that, and
ii) the Russian flow management system didn't reject the FPL, as it normally does whenever a conflict exists with routing and airspace/airway closures.


(V6158/14 NOTAMN
Q) URRV/QARLC/IV/NBO/E/000/530/4818N04008E088
B) 1407170000 C) 1408312359EST
SFC TO FL530.)
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 10:51
  #282 (permalink)  
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Thumbs down And remember .........

The HMS Vincentes, the US destroyer that bought the Iranian Airbus down quite a few years ago!

I vaguely recall there was confusion at the time whether it was a civilian aircraft or some Iranian warplanes in the airport vicinity?

Sadly in the days where seconds are critical, these sorts of things will always bea possibility!
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 10:57
  #283 (permalink)  
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Incident or Accident


Friday, July 18, 01:30 PM GMT +0800 Media Statement 3 : MH17 Incident
Media Statement 3 : MH17 Incident

Air Accidents Investigation: Definition of Accident and Serious Incident

Is it that Malaysia completely ditched UK law and now everything no matter how serious is only to be called an incident ?
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 11:04
  #284 (permalink)  
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BH, in terms of definitions you are right, however in other circumstances an accident is considered blame free and an incident is an event.

I would put the statement down to sloppy English and no obscufation.
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 11:05
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An IL76 would be a high value target, whether it were Russian government or a troop carrier, and they have quite a swept wing (albeit with 4 engines on).

I'm guessing the guys who fired didn't understand the capabilities of the system and were 'funnelled' into a firing process without taking the time to even consider what the target might be.

Plenty of people in plenty of anonymous government buildings knew the 'separatists' had claimed to have acquired a GRIZZLY. Apparently nobody considered the implications for civilian traffic, or didn't make their point clearly enough to those in charge of NOTAMs?
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 11:07
  #286 (permalink)  
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Pontius and BH

Correct. An accident also implies no intent - officials tend to avoid the word until verified that there was indeed no intention...
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 11:15
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Originally Posted by flt001
A sobering "Oversimplification of a "continuous-rod"
warhead expansion in progress".
Continuous rods are nasty, but great for conspiracies, because they may leave no evidence other than a clean cut - so if you can just find one nice clean break/cut on your wreckage, your conspiracy theory is good to go.

In this case, however, I think the BUK (which is old USSR kit) only has HE+frag warheads. In fact I am not sure USSR ever got continuous-rod warheads on anything. I know that they are tricky to get right and tightly export controlled (or at least used to be) - some kit had an "export spec" where CR warhead would be downgraded to fragmentation. Note: any knowledge I have is from a long time ago, and things may have changed.
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 11:22
  #288 (permalink)  
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A half-competent operator of this system can easily tell the type of target they're illuminating. In principle you can count engines and distinguish between jet/prop/rotor.
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 11:36
  #289 (permalink)  
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Talk about a bad twist of fate...

SYDNEY - In an almost incomprehensible twist of fate, an Australian woman who lost her brother in the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 learned on Friday that her stepdaughter was on the plane shot down over Ukraine.

Kaylene Mann's brother Rod Burrows and sister-in-law Mary Burrows were on board Flight 370 when it vanished in March. On Friday, Mann found out that her stepdaughter, Maree Rizk, was killed along with 297 others on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which U.S. intelligence authorities believe was shot down by a surface-to-air missile.

"It's just brought everyone, everything back," said Greg Burrows, Mann's brother. "It's just ... ripped our guts again."

Burrows said his family was struggling to understand how they could be struck by such horrible luck on two separate occasions with the same airline.

"She just lost a brother and now a stepdaughter, so..." he said of his sister, his voice trailing off.

Rizk and her husband Albert, of Melbourne, were returning home from a four-week holiday in Europe, said Phil Lithgow, president of the Sunbury Football Club, with which the family was heavily involved. Albert, a real estate agent, was a member of the club's committee, Maree was a volunteer in the canteen and their son, James, plays on the club's team.
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 11:38
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I was flying a private jet into Dnepropetrovsk and other areas of the Ukraine just before the onset of troubles there.

This is a despicable act and we can only hope that it brings some sense into resolving the situation there.
We did not continue our business flights into the Ukraine for the very fear of what has happened to this jet and insurance difficulties.
My feelings are that no operator of commercial aircraft will consider any part of Ukraine as safe thus paralysing business travel into the country and hence the economy there.
Maybe that was the intention?
Any experienced trained eye can tell the difference between a low level turboprop and high level commercial jet with vapour trails which makes the reasons for the felling of this jet more sinister. Unless they were people devoid of any brains which is also a possibility!
I hope the perpetrators of this evil deed rot in hell where they belong

Last edited by Pace; 18th Jul 2014 at 12:09.
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 11:52
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And a new ugly era begins, me thinks. New Pandora's Box has just been opened.

ICAO appears playing politics in it all, rather than using their brains. According to their logic – Crimea, now controlled by one clear party which can assume full responsibility for ATC there is unsafe, while air corridors above territory of proxy war, where nobody can assume responsibility, even if they wanted to, is safe. What kind of retarded thinking led to this “logic?”. Is ICAO there to care for safety of civilian traffic or to play NATO politics?

1. It isn't exactly a surprise that both sides of proxy war in Ukraine have BUK SAMs capable of reaching targets at 20,000m or that they were using them actively for a few weeks.

2. As electronics advances, all military equipment becomes idiot proof, in the sad form of allowing anyone to be able to take down anything.

3. This shows that, again, sadly Cold War was far more safe than a bunch of wars by proxy.

4. Even if it was well trained Russian crew playing separatists, it still is the problem of proxy war because the crew communicating with Russia when selecting targets would expose them.

5. One way or another, if missiles are fired from proxy war territory, the players act as rogues and do not use the advantages of the centralized C&C while selecting targets or otherwise.

6. Sadly, it was the dumb US politicians who first started proliferating SAMs among proxy fighters during the USSR-Afghanistan war, and were very proud of the results.

7. Afterwords, the US desperately tried to buy all the equipment back, but it was not easy since it became the symbol status among Muslim fighters. It sort of makes you God-like to be able to take down something high in the sky - I guess.

8. By contrast, the Soviets were very paranoid about proliferating SAM equipment because they feared it being used against them.

9. The West would often mock 40-year old Russian SCUDs sold to Saddam Hussein, for example, as if it was a bad thing that Russians were paranoid about selling newer toys and never supplied BUK missiles, for example, to Hussein's Iraq or Iran or to Serbia.

10. As US continued its adventures around the world and mocking of everything Russian, it sort of forced Russia's hand and now they are selling BUK and S300/400 to many parties around the world.

11. Ukraine is unusual in a sense that these things were already there, but I think it still is a sign of things to come.

12. Much of Ukraine conflict is sort of nationalism/racism between the two sides, with Russia financing pro-Moscow thieves and the West financing pro-Western thieves, with regular Ukrainians caught in the middle – a replay of Balkan wars.

13. A sane world would try to penalize big players for organizing wars by proxy, but as we all have gone insane, the idiot politicians will probably use it as an excuse to have more proxy wars.
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 11:52
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Visual identification is completely irrelevant here. You simply can't see the aircraft in question at the distance we're talking about here (30-40Km). Also, the operator can't see outside. As I said before the equipment in question gives the well trained operator the means to classify the target (propulsion type, number of engines). I should know, I served on a Warsaw Pact Air defence command post and I'm reasonably well versed in this stuff.
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 11:54
  #293 (permalink)  
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BREAKING NEWS: Russia foreign minister Lavrov says Moscow does not plan to take "black box" flight recorders from pro-russian separatists in eastern Ukraine
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 12:00
  #294 (permalink)  
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Террористы вывозят ракетный комплекс "Бук" на тер…: ?????????? ??????? ???????? ???????? "???" ?? ?????????? ??????. 18.07.2014 - YouTube

Allegedly the BUK launcher being taken to Russia, less one warhead.

I haven't read anything about the seperate search and track radar that normally accompanies such a system.
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 12:05
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Having operated and maintained Russian SAM systems, I can guarantee that if you just want to shot down an aircraft at high altitude with any of their high end systems without worrying about what you are shooting at in a non ECM environment they are very easy pieces of equipment to operate. The Buk is not a new piece of kit (its been kicking around for 30 years) and was widely used by the Soviet Union before 1991 and in Russia and Ukraine afterwards. The system were designed to be operated by conscripted / reservist crews and thus are fitted with a high level of automation (to shot anything down with one of these systems all you have to do is get the system's tracking radar 'on target' and press the fire button as soon as a 'Target in engagement zone' indication comes up and the system will do everything else. While the equipment was also designed for rapid replacement of defective equipment which is very modular in nature and like most Russian equipment is built like a brick sh!thouse. Due to the fact that it was operated by conscripts for best part of 30 years, there will be a sizable pool of people in eastern Ukraine (rebels) who will be able to operate it and most likely a number of ex warrant officers or extended servicemen who where the personnel would normally fixed the things who would be able to maintain it. The main question I would ask is where did the missile system come from! Was it taken across the Russian border by the Russians (or from the Crimea) or was it captured by the rebels from Ukraine stocks in the disputed region. There is footage on the internet of the shootdown, the footage looks genuine and shows the aircraft just after missile impact, there is the smoke cloud from the warhead detonation and the aircraft which looks like a 777 is descending with the inboard section of the starboard wing from the fuselage to the engine and starboard engine on fire.
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 12:07
  #296 (permalink)  
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Many years ago, when I was with a major airline, I was involved in the decision making process assessing the safety of flights, near, around or over areas of potential or active conflicts. From that experience, may I enlighten some of the posters on PPRuNe on the difficulties of the process.

The first problem is imprecise information, a civil airline is not told much - you have to go and investigate yourself. NOTAMS only promulgate what the state concerned has decided to say - airspace, airways closures and altitude restrictions. Next, the government of the state of registration may issue warnings, usually in ambiguous phraseology; 'we see no reason why you shouldn't', etc. Unless individuals in the airline concerned have the necessary security clearances and access to the right military/security departments, they will find it very difficult to determine the risk.

Then there is the eternal conflict between commercial interests and caution. This is a legitimate and important debate, there are no simple answers. How does the responsible person in Flight Operations convince the Commercial Department of the necessity to re-route around the conflict area when there is little or no convincing evidence of risk?

I remember several cases when the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) was less than candid, and others when they issued advice that was much more restrictive than the advice given by other governments. How do you evaluate what you are being told by government? Such issues applied when deciding to overfly Afghanistan in the 1980s and 1990s, and when flying around Iraq during the run up to Gulf War 1 in 1991. These are not easy decisions.

Terrorist or military risk must be assessed on the basis of 2 criteria - capability and intention...and probably a 3rd - incompetence. In the case of Afghanistan, before the Russians retreated, they had the capability but not the intention to shoot down an overflying civil airliner, they also had good command and control. After the Russians withdrew, the various factions had the missiles (capability), probably not the intention, but more importantly they lacked effective command and control. Therefore they constituted a risk and that airspace was avoided by UK airlines but not those of all other nations.

When the USS Vincennes shot down the Iranian Airbus, the US Navy had the capability, no intention to shoot down a civil airliner, but woefully inadequate command decisions (the command and control structure was OK but it was operated incompetently). During the run up to Gulf War 1 the capability was there, as was a very good command and control structure - BUT - at what point might the stress of the moment lead to a mistake?

As I understand it, the airspace in which the Malaysian flight was operating was declared open by the state involved, was being used by many other airlines, and thus the flight was legal. The problem was; who had access to the missiles concerned? Who had knowledge of this? And how could this be assessed? Probably no-one was in a position to know. It seems to me to have been a horrible cock-up by the rebel forces. I am sure no-one intended to shoot down a civil airliner.

But, please don't under-estimate the difficulty airlines have when deciding what is and what is not safe.

Last edited by Bergerie1; 18th Jul 2014 at 12:19.
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 12:13
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Bueno Hombre:

Is it that Malaysia completely ditched UK law and now everything no matter how serious is only to be called an incident ?

1.an individual occurrence or event.
2.a distinct piece of action, or an episode, as in a story or play.
3.something that occurs casually in connection with something else.
4.something appertaining or attaching to something else.
5.an occurrence of seemingly minor importance, especially involving nations or factions between which relations are strained and sensitive, that can lead to serious consequences, as an outbreak of hostilities or a war: border incident; international incident.
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 12:17
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Point of order SadPole -

The Cold War was a bunch of wars by proxy.

The Chinese had a hand in supplying SAMs to the Mujahedeen also.

Soviet proliferation of SAMs included supply to rebel groups in Southern Africa.

But I do agree, a new Pandora's Box has been opened here.
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 12:19
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It is a decision of the operator and restrictions on insurance. The government want business as usual so will naturally play down the risk as will the companies you are dealing with there.

This new change on targets will I am afraid probably severely restrict any flights to the Ukraine regardless of location and hence severely damage the economy
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 12:25
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Why the FAA banned US Carriers from overflying the area and the ICAO/EASA did not is going to be an interesting question for some to answer.

Why would it be considered "Safe" to fly over a region with known active SAM activity resulting in the downing of aircraft is beyond comprehension!
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